With the All-Star break less than a month away, the second half of the MLB season is slowly creeping into plain sight. For plenty of stars the first half of the year has been kind to them. For others, it's been a brutal struggle just to live up to the hype around their name. These five struggling players will have a big Summer breakout that will carry into the second half.
5. Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper isn't having a traditional "slump", but he isn't exactly having the season Phillies fans were hoping for. Batting just .250 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs, Harper is one strikeout short of the league-lead with 87. With the Phillies battling the Braves for first in the NL East, Harper needs to step up this Summer. With some offensive improvement, Harper can return to being one of baseball's elite.
4. Yasiel Puig
It's been a rough opening half for Yasiel Puig. Trying to make a good first impression in Cincinnati, Puig is hitting just .213 through 230 at bats. If he can start improving on his average, Puig can help the Reds out of the cellar of the NL Central. His performance over the Summer is likely to be better than what he's produced so far.
3. Jackie Bradley Jr.
Jackie Bradley Jr.'s .199 batting average isn't getting the job done for the Red Sox. After a solid season last year and a World Series title, Bradley has seriously cooled off at the plate. He can be a key part of Boston's second half push, which will start with a hot Summer. As the MVP of the ALCS last year, Bradley clearly has another gear that he just hasn't kicked into quite yet.
2. José Ramirez
After an unreal season in 2018, no one could've expected a slump out of Indians' star José Ramirez. The third baseman batted .270 last year, tallying 39 home runs as well. So far in 2019, Ramirez is batting .198 with only 4 home runs. If he can turn things around this Summer and into the second half of the season, Ramirez will help Cleveland close the gap between them and the AL Central-leading Twins.
1. Jesús Aguilar
Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar is another star experiencing a disappointing turn around from last year. At just .195 and four home runs, Aguilar's batting has suffered a serious drop from the breakout season he had in 2018. As one of Milwaukee's best hitters last season, Aguilar clearly knows how to shine at the plate. With a big Summer and second half, Aguilar can help his team stay among the best in the NL Central.